The rate of growth in the Canadian economy slowed in July, falling to 0.4 percent from 0.7 percent the previous month. Most sectors continued to show increases, although Retail Sales fell by 0.6 percent. The real damage however, was the Housing Index which declined by 4.1 percent.
Source: BBC News
Analysts were caught off guard today on news that Japan’s unemployment rose to 5.2 percent in May from 5.1 percent the previous month. It was expected that unemployment would actually fall slightly to 5.0 percent in May.
Household spending fell 0.7 percent in May when compared to May 2009. Again, this was a surprise as the forecast called for a 0.4 percent increase year-over-year.
“Today’s reports show Japan’s economy is clearly slowing down” after growing at an annual 5 percent pace in the first quarter, said Kyohei Morita, chief Japan economist at Barclays Capital in Tokyo. “Consumer spending is weakening because the impact from government stimulus measures is fading.”
The US Labor Department announced today that the number of new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 512,000 last week. This is the lowest level of new claims in ten months providing further evidence that job cuts are slowly easing. Despite the slowdown in job cuts, companies still resist hiring and total unemployment moved up to 9.9 percent from 9.8 percent the month before.